FMCSA Grants American Concrete Pumping Association HOS Exemption

The American Concrete Pumping Association has won a temporary exemption from select hours-of-service rules by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

According to a document published in the Federal Register on Nov. 1, the exemption relaxes the requirement that short haul drivers using the records-of-duty status exception return to their starting location within 12 hours of coming on duty.

FMCSA’s exemption will allow drivers operating concrete pumps to return to their starting point within 14 hours instead of 12. The exemption took effect Nov. 1 and expires Oct. 31, 2023.“FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and has determined that the exemption, subject to the terms and conditions imposed, will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption,” the FMCSA states.

The industry organization, which represents more than 600 companies and 7,000 workers, compared it’s work to that of ready-mixed-concrete drivers whose perishable products necessitate time-sensitive hauls.

The association also stated that concrete pump operators spend little time actually driving. The average concrete pump operator spends 25-32% of his or her shift driving, and daily trips usually are less than 25 miles. The association said that the majority of operators’ time is spent waiting on ready-mixed concrete for them to pump.

FMCSA Military Driver Programs

A Winning Strategy for Service Members, Veterans, the Transportation Industry and our Nation

Washington D.C- As we recognize our veterans on this holiday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proud to help experienced military drivers transition to commercial driving careers. These individuals offer a proven work ethic, personal discipline and invaluable training and skills. Leveraging their skills is a service to them and a gain for our nation’s commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry.

We value the connection between service members and veterans’ capabilities, and their employment is at the heart of FMCSA programs for military drivers. To show appreciation of the training and experience gained by our military service men and women, below are FMCSA programs that make it easier, quicker and less expensive to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

  • The Military Skills Test Waiver Program exempts qualified military drivers from having to take the CDL skills test. More than 23,000 service members and veterans have taken advantage of this exemption.
  • The Even Exchange Program (or Knowledge Test Waiver) allows for qualified military drivers to be exempt from the knowledge test. When the exemption is used in conjunction with the Military Skills Test Waiver, this allows a qualified military driver to exchange his or her military license for a CDL.
  • The Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program will soon launch. This study research program will assess the safety impacts of allowing qualified military drivers younger than 21 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
  • The Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training Grant Program assists current or former members of the United States Armed Forces (including National Guard and reserve members) and their spouses in receiving training to transition to the motor carrier industry.

More information on these FMCSA military driver programs is available on FMCSA’S website.

Please help FMCSA support our country’s service members and veterans by spreading the word on these career transition programs.

Video Blog: Safety Rating Upgrade Frequently Asked Questions

Compliance Review, Conditional, Unsatisfactory, Notice of Claim

Frequently asked questions about the safety rating upgrade process at CNS! Chris, our VP of Business Development, interviews Hoyt Craver, our Safety Rating Upgrade Project Coordinator. We achieve incredible success with the FMCSA, learn more in this short clip.

 

2018 Brake Safety Week Results

Nearly 5,000 Commercial Motor Vehicles with Critical Brake Violations Removed from Roadways During Brake Safety Week

Greenbelt, Maryland (Nov. 6, 2018) – During Brake Safety Week, Sept. 16-22, 2018, enforcement personnel in 57 jurisdictions throughout Canada and the United States conducted 35,080 inspections on commercial motor vehicles and captured and reported data on brake violations. The majority of vehicles inspected did not have any brake-related out-of-service conditions; however, inspectors found critical vehicle inspection items in the brake systems of 4,955 (14.1 percent) of the vehicles inspected and placed those vehicles out of service until the condition(s) could be corrected.

Brake violations were the top vehicle out-of-service violation during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck 72-hour enforcement initiative in June 2018. And according to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) data (snapshot as of Sept. 28, 2018), out of 2.38 million inspections, there were 1,045,335 brake-related violations in federal fiscal 2018, with a portion of those accounting for seven of the top 20 vehicle violations. In an effort to address brake system violations, jurisdictions throughout North America participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week.

The goal of this week-long brake safety enforcement and outreach initiative is to reduce the number of crashes involving brake-related problems by raising awareness throughout the motor carrier community of the importance of properly functioning brake systems and by conducting roadside inspections to identify and remove vehicles with critical brake violations from our roadways.

Brake Safety Week data also captured antilock braking systems (ABS) violations, indicating how well ABS are maintained in accordance with federal regulations. ABS help the vehicle to stop in the shortest possible distance under many conditions and to maintain steering control in situations when tires may slip. Many participating jurisdictions surveyed ABS compliance. ABS violations were counted when the malfunction lamp did not illuminate or stayed on, indicating an issue of some kind. The findings are as follows:

  • 26,143 air-braked power units required ABS; 8.3 percent (2,176) had ABS violations.
  • 17,857 trailers required ABS; 12.5 percent (2,224) had ABS violations.
  • 5,354 hydraulic-braked trucks required ABS; 4.4 percent (234) had ABS violations.
  • 651 motorcoaches/buses required ABS; 2 percent (13) had ABS violations.

Brake Safety Week deployed several strategies to help make our roadways safer:

  • Prevention – Since the dates of Brake Safety Week are announced well in advance, it gives motor carriers and drivers ample opportunity to ensure their vehicles are proactively checked and properly maintained and any issues found are corrected. Everyone wants the vehicles that are inspected to pass inspection. A vehicle that passes inspection increases overall safety.
  • Education – Brake Safety Week is an opportunity for law enforcement personnel to educate drivers and motor carriers on the inspection procedure with a focus on the vehicle’s mechanical components, especially the brake systems. Education and awareness are key in prompting preventative action to ensure each commercial motor vehicle is safe and roadworthy.
  • Action – Inspectors who identified commercial motor vehicles with critical brake issues during the inspection process were able to remove those dangerous vehicles from our roadways. If a vehicle has brake-related critical inspection items, it’s law enforcement’s duty and responsibility to place that vehicle out of service, safeguarding the public.

“Whether you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle or inspecting one, we all know the importance of properly functioning brakes,” said CVSA President Lt. Scott Carnegie with the Mississippi Highway Patrol. “It is essential that we – law enforcement, drivers and motor carriers – do all that we can through prevention, education, outreach and action to ensure only the safest commercial motor vehicles are being operated by professional drivers on our roadways.”

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

FMCSA Issues Personal Conveyance Guidance

FMCSA states personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work by the motor carrier. The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden, since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the motor carrier at that time. Personal conveyance does not reduce a driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a CMV safely. Motor carriers can establish personal conveyance limitations either within the scope of, or more restrictive than, the guidance provided here.

Click here for a recorded presentation that provides an overview of the revised personal conveyance guidance; the corresponding powerpoint slides are available here.

FMCSA updates the guidance for § 395.8 Driver’s Record of Duty Status to read as follows:

Question 26: Under what circumstances may a driver operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as a personal conveyance?

Guidance: A driver may record time operating a CMV for personal conveyance (i.e., for personal use or reasons) as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work by the motor carrier. The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden, since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the carrier at that time. Personal conveyance does not reduce a driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a CMV safely. Motor carriers can establish personal conveyance limitations either within the scope of, or more restrictive than, this guidance, such as banning use of a CMV for personal conveyance purposes, imposing a distance limitation on personal conveyance, or prohibiting personal conveyance while the CMV is laden.

Examples of Appropriate Uses of a CMV While Off-duty for Personal Conveyance

The following are examples of appropriate uses of a CMV while off-duty for personal conveyance include, but are not limited to:

  1. Time spent traveling from a driver’s en route lodging (such as a motel or truck stop) to restaurants and entertainment facilities.
  2. Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between work sites and his or her residence. In these scenarios, the commuting distance combined with the release from work and start to work times must allow the driver enough time to obtain the required restorative rest as to ensure the driver is not fatigued.
  3. Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
  4. Moving a CMV at the request of a safety official during the driver’s off-duty time
  5. Time spent traveling in a motorcoach without passengers to en route lodging (such as motel or truck stop), or to restaurants and entertainment facilities and back to the lodging. In this scenario, the driver of the motorcoach can claim personal conveyance provided the driver is off-duty. Other off-duty drivers may be on board the vehicle, and are not considered passengers.
  6. Time spent transporting personal property while off-duty.
  7. Authorized use of a CMV to travel home after working at an offsite location.

Examples of Uses of a CMV that Would Not Qualify as Personal Conveyance

The following are examples of uses of a CMV that would not qualify as personal conveyance include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The movement of a CMV in order to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier. For example, bypassing available resting locations in order to get closer to the next loading or unloading point or other scheduled motor carrier destination.
  2. After delivering a towed unit, and the towing unit no longer meets the definition of a CMV, the driver returns to the point of origin under the direction of the motor carrier to pick up another towed unit.
  3. Continuation of a CMV trip in interstate commerce in order to fulfill a business purpose, including bobtailing or operating with an empty trailer in order to retrieve another load or repositioning a CMV (tractor or trailer) at the direction of the motor carrier.
  4. Time spent driving a passenger-carrying CMV while passenger(s) are on board. Off-duty drivers are not considered passengers when traveling to a common destination of their own choice within the scope of this guidance.
  5. Time spent transporting a CMV to a facility to have vehicle maintenance performed.
  6. After being placed out of service for exceeding the maximum periods permitted under part 395, time spent driving to a location to obtain required rest, unless so directed by an enforcement officer at the scene.
  7. Time spent traveling to a motor carrier’s terminal after loading or unloading from a shipper or a receiver.
  8. Time spent operating a motorcoach when luggage is stowed, the passengers have disembarked and the driver has been directed to deliver the luggage.

For questions regarding personal conveyance email: shane@cnsprotects.com

FMCSA grants ELD exemptions

The struggle to incorporate Electronic Log Devices into the trucking industry continues, resistance gains traction as the December 18, 2017 deadline draws near.

A brief outline of the recent exemptions granted:

– UPS’s (United Parcel Service) request that drivers be allowed to change duty status outside of and away from their vehicle has been granted by the FMCSA for a five year minimum. The change in status will be made via drivers’ mobile device-based ELDs.

– A second waiver allowing carriers to make multiple yard moves without numerous re-entries on a mobile device was also granted. It, too, will serve for a five year minimum. The FMCSA requires the ELD must be able to switch to “driving” mode when needed, when the truck exceeds 20mph, or when the truck exits a geo-fenced yard.

– However, an exemption requested by a water hauling fleet was refused due to the company’s lack of proof regarding lack of cab space. The company argued that the trucks rarely travel; the FMCSA countered that it had not seen a demonstration of how a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level achieved with an ELD would occur without one.

FMCSA: Medical Examiners To Begin Using Revised Medical Forms April 20

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reminds Medical Examiners that physical exams must be completed using the revised versions of Medication Examination Report Form (MCSA-5875) and Medical Examiner’s Certificate Form (MCSA-5876) on April 20, 2medical_symbol(4)016.

In April 2015, FMCSA published it’s Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule, requiring the revised use of the forms. However, in December 2015, FMCSA announced a 120-day grace period to “ensure that Medical Examiner’s had sufficient time to become familiar with the new forms and to program electronic medical records systems.”

Need more information? Contact us today!

 

CVSA FMCSA June 7-9 Inspection Blitz Focuses on Tire Safety

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will be joining forces for the 26th annual International Roadcheck on June 7-9 this year. A total of 75,000 inspections are anticipated by both parties; performed by CVSA-certified local, state, federal, and Canadian-provincial inspection authorities.

The highlighted aspect of the inspection campaign in 2016 will feature an emphasis on tire safety. Tire inspection is a routine component of a normal roadside inspection- consisting specifically of measuring tire tread depth, measuring tire pressure, checking between dual tires, and checking sidewalls for bulges or deep cuts. Check out the top tire-related violations here from the CVSA in 2015.

The most in-depth inspection routine will be completed by inspection authorities on the majority of blitz stops. A Level 1 North American Standard Inspection includes:

  • Driver’s License
  • Driver’s Daily Log
  • Driver and Vehicle Inspection Report
  • Coupling Devices
  • Medical Card
  • Seat Belt
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust System
  • Frame
  • Fuel System
  • Turn Signals
  • Brake Lamps
  • Tail Lamps
  • Head Lamps
  • Lamps on Projecting Loads
  • Safe Loading
  • Steering Mechanism
  • Suspension
  • Tires
  • Trailer Bodies
  • Wheels and Rims
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Hazmat Requirements (If Applicable)

Always perform a thorough, focused pre-trip inspection, including tires. See Tips for Avoiding Tire Violations here.

 

 

Contact our representatives with any questions!

CNSDriverReg


 

Safety Fitness Determination

Closeup shot of male hand in watches holding car steering wheel

A proposed federal rule that would give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration another means to score and target unsafe carriers has cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

The so-called Safety Fitness Determination Rule cleared the OMB late last week and is now in the hands of the DOT, ready for publication as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking when it chooses.

Since this is the proposed version of the rule, there will be a public comment period, likely either 60 or 90 days, following its publication. FMCSA will then begin work on a final version of the rule and send it down the regulatory pipeline for publication, a process that could take several years to complete.

The DOT has been working on the rule since 2007. Few details are known about what it entails. According to the agency’s regulatory summary, it would give FMCSA a new system to “determine when a motor carrier is not fit to operate.” The safety determination, however, would be in part based on the BASIC categories in the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, and it’s unclear whether recent Congressional action to remove CSA rankings from public view will impact the SFD rule.

Language in the highway bill expressly prohibited use of SMS BASIC “alerts and the relative percentile for each BASIC developed under the CSA program” to be used for carrier Safety Fitness Determinations until FMCSA acts on the required revamp of the CSA program. The highway bill directed the agency to, within 18 months, commission a study by the National Academies to recommend improvements to the CSA SMS, with implemented changes then following before returning the SMS to public view.

The NPRM will likely be published before year’s end.

If you have questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact CNS.  It is important that you understand what this could mean for you and your business.

The Transition to E-Logging Is Coming

home-electronic-tracking-bgAre you prepared to switch from paper log books to an electronic logging device?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will soon require all carriers to install some type of electronic on-board monitoring device in vehicles to track vehicle status and how many hours a driver has been on the road. The trucking industry has been using the same system–paper log books—since 1938, but with the rise of technology and capabilities, the switch to GPS logging could significantly improve highway safety by preventing driver fatigue. It also will give companies a more accurate view of what is actually happening with their drivers.

On June 23, 2015, the transportation subcommittee of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee passed a bill that will set specific date by which the FMCSA must publish the final version of the Electronic Device Mandate. It is believed that the ELDM could come as early as the second half of 2016. Check back here for updates on that date.

The FMCSA Electronic Device Mandate has four basic parts:

  • The requirement to use ELDs in place of paper log books
  • Protections against driver harassment
  • Hardware specifications for the devices
  • Hours-of-service related supporting documents drivers must continue to carry after the mandate

Electronic GPS/logging devices are revolutionizing the way large motor carriers transport goods, collect data and communicate in real-time. They can assure that products arrive on time, operators are less fatigued and our roadways are safer for everyone. It won’t be long before these multi-purpose GPS monitoring units are installed in every truck in America.

Many fleet companies are already installing in-cab electronic systems in all of their vehicles. That’s because the devices track driving hours, fuel efficiency factors, location and critical events like hard braking and the activation of trailers’ roll stability controls. All of that is communicated in real time to the company, by satellite or cell tower, and can be used to make decisions en route.

We have already heard testimonies of how the devices have helped fleet companies reduce deadheading (trailers traveling empty between unloading and reloading) and increase fuel efficiency improvements as much as a tenth of a mile per gallon per year.

Although big trucking companies are eagerly adopting data strategies in their business models, smaller carriers have been less enthusiastic. There’s no reason to fear the future. CNS can help everyone understand how to manage the transition from paper logs to e-logging. We’re here for you! Contact one of our specialists today with your questions.